City Council Looks To Change Sewage System Program - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

KILLEEN

City Council Looks To Change Sewage System Program

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KILLEEN -

The city of Killeen has proposed several new changes to their ordinance that regulates how much fat, oil, and grease can enter the city's sewer system.

The revisions the council proposed now give restaurants two options in how to get rid of their waste; either clean out their old grease traps or set up new ones.

10 months ago, restaurants throughout Killeen went to the city council complaining that they were being gouged in surcharges for dumping excessive amounts of grease into the city's sewage system because of the old program. The city suspended the program and went back to the drawing board to try and find a way to more accurately measure how much of the waste was actually getting into city wastewater.

Several years ago, the city first instituted what is known as the fats, oils, and grease, or "FOG" program. The goal of the program was to try and prevent major damage to the city sewage system caused by excessive grease in the water.

"We had incurred about $900,000 to repair the South Sewage Treatment Plant, and we needed to do something to keep that from happening in the future," Killeen Mayor Dan Corbin said.

The city teamed up with the Food and Establishment Organization to create a new program after many restaurants in Killeen went to the city and asked for the ordinance to be suspended due to massive surcharges caused by inaccurate readings in the wastewater at those establishments.

"They were using some of the same procedures that they were using in Austin and in other places where they were not incurring surcharges, and they were getting like $1500 surcharges from the city," Corbin said.

Now, the city has started over with an entirely new ordinance aimed at reworking the way in which grease samples are measured at restaurants.

"We're going to measure it at the points where it enters the city sewer system, and instead of doing one grab sample, we're going to take a composite sample over a 24-hour period," Corbin said.

Officials believe the new ordinance will help the city with its sewage problems and end up saving restaurants and establishments a lot of money in the long run.

"We hope, and we can measure this, the amount of these byproducts that are going into the sewage treatment plant - our sewage quality will improve," Corbin said. "We can measure that and we hope that we are going to see that after we start enforcing it again."

The city has since sent out ordinance notices to local restaurant owners, and city officials say all 304 restaurants in Killeen will be in compliance when the new program starts back up in a few weeks.

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